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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 January, 2004, 17:05 GMT
Bombs 'predictable price' of EU
Gary Titley
Mr Titley was furious at the remarks by fellow MEP Nigel Farage
Letter bombs sent to EU politicians are the "price of forcing a political ideal on people" according to an MEP from the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

Nigel Farage said his party had predicted 10 years ago the path the EU was taking could end in civil unrest.

But a British MEP targeted in one of the terror attacks said Mr Farage's comments were "despicable".

"This is about the worst thing I have heard in my entire time in politics," Gary Titley told BBC News Online.

'Outrageous'

Speaking the day after Mr Titley's wife narrowly escaped injury when she opened a letter bomb, Mr Farage said: "We can only hope that the EU comes to its senses and listens to the people."

He said failure to do so could mean more attacks as extremists resorted to violence, before adding that UKIP deplored the bombs.

Mr Titley said: "I think it's outrageous to make a cheap political point out of a terrorist act.

"I am almost speechless with anger. I can't believe that they have done this - it is justifying terrorism and that's despicable."

He said his wife had narrowly avoided injury in the attack, only through luck.

Disagreement

Frank Maloney, UKIP's candidate for London mayor, swiftly released a statement saying he did not support Mr Farage's comments.

Addressing Mr Titley directly, he said: "It is not the view of UKIP that these attacks are justified or that we support them in any way and it is by act of God that your wife and yourself were not seriously hurt.

"It is my view and that of my party that if you oppose the EU and what it stands for then you should register your protest through the ballot box using political means, never violence."

Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesman Sir Menzies Campbell said Mr Farage's comments seemed "particularly irresponsible".

"Nothing but nothing justifies actions of this kind and politicians committed to the democratic process should be unequivocal in their condemnation," he said.

Italian anarchists?

The bomb was the third confirmed device targeting MEPs and the first known to have been sent to the UK.

At least two other letter bombs were sent to European Parliament headquarters in Brussels - addressed to German and Spanish political leaders.

Monday's letter bombs were all posted on 22 December in Bologna, the departure point for earlier letter bombs to senior EU officials including European Commission President Romano Prodi.

The group claiming to be behind the attacks calls itself the Informal Anarchist Federation and is protesting about what it calls the "repressive apparatus of control" in Europe.




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02 Jan 04  |  Politics


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